Friday, September 28, 2012

Encampment Tour Route Stop 2 VFNHP

On Monday 24 September 2012, I started my visit to Valley Forge National Historical Park (VFNHP) at the Visitor Center. This is the first stop on the Encampment Tour Route. I collected an official park map and set out to my car to continue my photographic survey of the park.

I drove onto the Encampment Tour Route towards stop 2 where a group of reconstructed log huts are located. The road leaves the Visitor Center in a broad right curve up a slight incline. The view of the area is quite open with hills in the near distance to the SSE where the Schuylkill River has cut through the landscape on its way to Philadelphia. Today, unlike the view in 1777, the hills are covered with buildings, commercial and residential.

Looking ENE from Stop 2 along the Encampment Tour Route back toward the Visitor Center
To the ESE you can see one of the commercial buildings, the new Valley Forge Casino Resort. That is it straight ahead with the V on the roof. The two buildings to its right are the hotel/resort. 

Above cannon from a distance.

There are two cannons at this stop on the tour which are across the road from the reconstructed log huts.

These huts are like the huts constructed by the soldiers in the Continental Army during the encampment at Valley Forge in 1777-1778. Many trees gave their lives in the name of the revolution, too. According to a pamphlet published by the National Park Service, Valley Forge National Historical Park, and I quote, "Prior to European settlement, Pennsylvania was 90-95% forested. In the Valley Forge area, forests were cleared for lumber, agriculture, firewood, and fences, reducing forest cover to approximately 60% by 1777. During the encampment of George Washington and the Continental Army, almost every tree in what is now the park—and for miles beyond—was cut down for firewood, shelter, and defensive structures. Post-encampment, small woodlots and hedgerows were re-established by farmers. Some areas of the park such as Mount Joy and Wayne’s Woods were re-planted by the Valley Forge Park Commission in the early 20th century. Today, forest communities cover 34% of the park and contain 110 different kinds of trees." 

Looking back from just past the log huts.

Looking towards Mount Joy on the Western side of the park from just past the log huts. 

You don't see many trees along this road. You can see that Mount Joy in the background is covered with trees.

The survey continues.

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved

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